How to Select Materials For Composite Decks in Falls Church,VA

Today’s composite decks in Falls Church, VA are less likely to fade, stain, or harbor mold and mildew. There is an ever-expanding variety of natural colors, some with variegated tones that mimic exotic hardwood grain patterns, and such an assortment of colors and textures that deck builders coined the term “deck fashion.”
How do you select materials for composite decks in Falls Church, VA? There are many factors that enter the equation, but typically your choices are based on:

  • your budget
  • your home and landscape architectural style
  • decking surface preferences
  • fastener system selected
  • site variables, and
  • local building code and HOA requirements

Premium quality composite deck products are two to three times more expensive than pressure-treated (PT) wood but lasts two to three times longer with much less maintenance. At this time, PT wood is used in the structural foundation of most decks due to it’s combined affordability, durability, and strength.

Falls Church, VA

A competent decks contractor in Falls Church, VA will be licensed and insured, and know local building codes to advise your materials selection before they design composite decks in Falls Church, VA. Your deck builder will also be familiar with the latest advances in deck construction and design techniques. Many deck contractors will also have specialty certifications designating them to represent, use, or install certain composite deck products. Why is this important? For example, since each composite deck system has specific installation and fastening requirements, the warranty will be void if the manufacturer’s installation instructions are not followed. It’s the little things that separate out the good deck contractors from those who really make the project enjoyable.
For anyone interested in the molecular level, synthetic materials used in constructing composite decks in Falls Church, VA, and all construction materials for that matter, are required by many local building authorities to have a valid Evaluation Service Report (ESR). These reports are issued by ICC-ES, a subsidiary of the International Code Council, a nonprofit code-compliance testing agency. They perform building-product evaluation services – technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials.

For a complete list of composite decking ESRs

For a complete list of composite decking ESRs visit the CSI at and search “Division 06 – Wood, Plastics and Composites.” ICC-ES evaluation reports prove that products and systems are building code-compliant. They show the results of tests such as abrasion resistance, moisture absorption, tensile strength, fastener spacing, allowable spans and stresses, and more.
Before you select materials for composite decks in Falls Church, VA, gather product information, consider architectural elements, and review your technical and financial requirements with your deck contractor for a positive experience with composite decks in Falls Church, VA.

A Review Of Modern Deck Materials for Wood Decks in Arlington, VA

The right material can make all the difference in creating beautiful, long-lasting wood decks in Arlington, VA.
When it comes to durability and wood decking materials: water, insects, and weather are the great villains. Naturally, there are three heroes: wood that is pressurized or chemically treated to resist rot, wood that is naturally resistant to rot, and synthetic wood materials.
Lumber is divided into grades based on flaws like knots and splits. The straightest, most pristine boards are reserved for visible deck surfaces. We recommend using the highest grade lumber you can afford, especially where structural integrity is concerned. You can save money buying mid-grade lumber for structural underpinnings of a deck, but avoid the lower grades. Knotty, warped lumber is challenging to work with and can weaken the deck framework critical for load bearing support.

What to look for:

Pressure-treated lumber – The least expensive and most popular deck material is pressure-treated (PT) lumber. Made of yellow pine or fir treated with preservatives to resist water. Look for kiln-dried or kiln-dried after treatment, in green or brown. PT lumber needs to weather for 90 days before it is stained or painted.
Rot-resistant wood – Cedar, cypress, and redwood naturally resist rot and are structurally strong. The exterior surfaces are soft and susceptible to denting and marking. They require careful handling. These wood deck materials are more expensive than PT lumber. You can reduce costs utilizing more expensive wood for components such as railings, built-ins, and surface decking, and using PT lumber for structural framework
Synthetic materials – Synthetic wood materials are your choice for low maintenance. Plastic lumber, manufactured of recycled consumer plastics, is impervious to moisture. Molded in a rainbow of colors, plastic lumber can also be painted. It mimics but does not replicate natural wood. Vinyl lumber, in white and several other colors, is similar to plastic lumber. Look for UV inhibitors injected directly into the vinyl rather than sprayed on post- manufacture. Wood-polymer lumbers are another synthetic wood option. They contain a 50 – 50 ratio of waste wood and recycled plastics that can be stained or painted. These products look and feel like wood but require limited maintenance.
Strength. Real wood is the only deck material approved for structural support use, PT lumber being the strongest. Plastic lumber, vinyl lumber, and wood-plastic composites are not strong enough or too flexible to bear weight
Maintenance. All wood requires regular refinishing to preserve and prolong its durable life. Check annually for loosening nails, splinters, or warped boards. Synthetic materials offer the lowest maintenance with just occasional washing

Decay-Resistant Wood Species for Decks & Porches

As described in Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, Chapter Four, Best Construction Guide for Building Decks and Porches:
For a price, redwood and cedar are available in structural grades. How rot-resistant the untreated wood is depends on the amount of extractives in the wood, which is greatest in the heartwood cut from dense, old-growth trees. To purchase all-heart, structural-grade redwood or cedar, expect to spend two to three times more than for pressure treated lumber. It is also difficult to find away from the West Coast. Left untreated, even the heartwood of these species is not recommended for ground contact.
Horizontal deck surfaces take a beating. Rain and snow, exacerbated by wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycles, open up widening cracks, and ultraviolet radiation breaks down wood surfaces. The more sun exposure and water a deck sees, the quicker it will deteriorate. In addition, foot traffic makes it hard to maintain protective finishes.
When choosing a decking material, look beyond its short lived original condition to its appearance and maintenance needs down the road. In all cases, use the best grade of material you can afford. With wood decking, select tight, straight grain, few if any knots, and low moisture content.
The most decay-resistant materials are cut from the dense heartwood of old-growth trees, which is expensive and increasingly rare. In redwood, the lighter colored sapwood offers moderate resistance to decay.
Redwood and cedar should, at a minimum, be treated regularly with water repellants. Occasional treatment with a water-repellant preservative will increase the service life.
Tropical hardwoods are typically knot-free with a tight grain pattern that helps keep out water. They are strong, dense, and highly resistant to decay and insects, making them ideal for deck surfaces.

The Ancient Appeal of Wrought Iron Fences in Alexandria, VA

Wrought iron fences are a perennially popular choice for homes and businesses in Alexandria, VA. Rather than installing a solid fence requiring intensive maintenance, wrought iron fences provide an easy, elegant alternative, allowing greater visibility while still providing solid boundaries.

An Incredibly Brief History of Wrought Iron Fences in Alexandria, VA

From left: Robert E. Lee’s childhood home, Lee-Fendall House, The Lyceum during the Civil War, and Captainâ’s Row

According to the Alexandria city website there are “more than 200 structures in Alexandria that were built before 1820 – most of them in Old Town. There are only a few other communities in the United States that have as many existing examples of Georgian and Federal period architecture.” Check with the Alexandria Department of Planning & Zoning: Historic Preservation for zoning regulations and helpful resources about installing wrought iron fences (or any other fences) before contracts are signed.

The Ancient Appeal of Wrought Iron Fences

If you are considering a wrought iron fence for your property, investigate the quality of the wrought iron fence material before you make a decision. Select the highest quality material you can afford. It will last longer, require less maintenance, and provide decades of service. No other fence combines customized options, artistic beauty, durability, and strength like wrought iron fences.
Materials now referred to as “wrought iron” fencing are instead made of less costly steel, casted with a wrought iron motif. The grade of metal makes a big difference in the lifetime of wrought iron fences. Alexandria, VA residents think most wrought iron fences look identical. But within a few years, the quality of wrought iron fence material shows. Low quality wrought iron fences rust. They are manufactured with lower grade steel, galvanized on one side, and cast as bars or hollow tubes. The un-galvanized metal is naturally going to corrode.
True wrought iron is hand-forged into distinct patterns and swirls. Apparent irregularities are valued as a hallmark of the craft. If your budget supports wrought iron, it is the best choice. After all, secured properties throughout history have installed wrought iron fences that have stood for hundreds of years with great success.

What You Need To Know About Installing Wrought Iron Fences in Alexandria, VA

When shopping for fence material choose solid, galvanized steel. Compared to solid steel or iron, tubular fencing has a shorter serviceable life as moisture-fueled oxidation occurs inside that un-galvanized space.
Look for a high zinc rating to ensure a better quality metal and note that powder coat finishes deteriorate, challenging durability. Powder coating or electrostatic painting can introduce a variety of colors to complement your architecture and landscape, but also create maintenance requirements. Choose wisely.

Wrought iron fences in Alexandria, VA thrive in demanding locations – harsh, icy winters, blistering summer sun, and the shoreline’s unpredictable ravaging waters. Even under these conditions, wrought iron fences in Alexandria stand the test of time.


Make Connections to the Outdoors with Screened Porches in Great Falls, VA

Porches have been coming back in popularity in recent years, and screened porches in Great Falls, VA are trending up. Especially in places like Virginia, where a temperate climate invites three-season living, screened porches are a natural, outdoor sanctuary. With rustic stone fireplaces, state-of-the-art digital media infrastructure, and comfortable, intimate seating groups that gracefully transform to crowd capacity, your screened porch in Great Falls will be your favorite space in your house. Here is a basic list of items to consider when building your screened porch in Great Falls, VA.

Zoning Requirements

It is crucial to meet local zoning requirements when building any structure or addition. A reputable contractor, with extensive screened porch experience, will know how zoning requirements may impact your design plans.


Make certain you consider the ceiling. Flat ceilings give a screened porch the feel of an interior room, whereas a vaulted or cathedral ceiling is spacious, allowing for better ventilation.


This includes the number, type and placement of doors. Door placement is designed to channel positive traffic flow – through the house, and when moving about your screened porch. Use an aluminum door since wood doors swell and sag, which prevents a clean seal. Also remember the access needs of your pets.

Hire a Licensed Contractor

Your contractor can mean the difference between headaches and pure enjoyment when it comes to creating an amazing screened porch. They will shepherd your project from conception, through design and budgeting, to opening day. Using a professional contractor assures you get sound construction, technical knowledge, and a guarantee against any structural issues.


Consider the materials for your new screened space carefully – how they look, wear, and work together. There is a breathtaking selection – pressure treated Yellow Southern Pine, White Cedar, up cycled composites, vinyl, and so much more. Consider flooring first, exterior materials, and then interior trim. Finishes such as bead board, wood ceilings and hand-hewn posts add personality and character to any porch.

Your Electrical Grid

Diagram your space and show every power outlet, light switch, media device or other electrical requirements, along with electrical items such as ceiling fans, lighting or emergency power. Many of our customers install wall-mounted flat screens on their screened porches in Northern Virginia which require cable or other input sources. Advance design planning will incorporate all of these specifications.
Screened porches reduce the sunlight that reaches adjacent interior rooms. How much natural light do you want in your screened porch? Do you want recessed lighting? Ceiling fans? Pendant lights? You need answers before you plan electrical work.
You just took an important step toward getting the screened porch you always wanted at your Great Falls home. Now take the next step. Contact Armor Fence about your beautiful new porch today.

How Design Details Can Save Money When You Build A Deck in Manassas, VA

Many homeowners are unaware of how design details can save money when they build a deck in Manassas, VA. To redefine multiple deck spaces during the deck planning phase, many different design techniques and constructions materials are utilized. Design details can make practical yet dynamic changes that support multi-functional outdoor spaces when you build your deck.


Experienced deck designers use various architectural techniques to design a deck to flow from space to space with smart design that defines separate areas for specific functions. One detail, Installation of a dry or rain decking system, is ideal for multi-level, second story, and rooftop decks, as it creates twice the extended living space for relaxation and outdoor living. Built to protect the deck substructure from rot and decay, it works like a covered porch, allowing you to enjoy the dry oasis beneath your deck when it isn’t your preferred option.

Before you build your deck in Manassas, VA make sure to explore the simple ways these various design details can save you money:

  • Consider a combination of outdoor spaces and structures to create your individual outdoor living environment. Build a deck with a patio, or a deck with a screened porch. Use outdoor structures such as pergolas, gazebos, and arbors. They introduce visual diversity, act as shade producers, and encourage healthy transitional areas between the indoors and outdoors
  • Including different structures is also a smart way to define separate areas in any outdoor living area
  • Selecting several materials or one material in different styles or colors, such as complimentary woods or combining woods with metals or stone, enables clear definition of separate outdoor areas, such as dining and relaxing
  • A multi-level design breaks up deck and patio space for myriad purposes
  • Built-ins, including a beverage rail, seating, planters, and storage replace expensive outdoor furniture and decor
  • Planning design details, deck materials, and patterns before you build a deck is a simple, cost-effective technique for outdoor space

Give consideration to the many design details that can save you money before you build your deck in Manassas, VA.

Search Fence Costs in Fairfax, VA Before You Talk to A Fence Company

Fence installation cost in Fairfax, VA depends on a wide range of factors, including:

  • the fence material you choose
  • the height of the fence
  • how many linear foot of fence you need, and
  • installation labor costs

The most common fence material choices today are chain link, wood, and vinyl. Most people in Fairfax want some combination of privacy and security. Ornamental fencing is available in steel and iron, but both are considerably more expensive.
The size and height will determine in how much fence you need. That, combined with your fence material selection, will make up the biggest components of your fence cost.
Figure out the number of corner posts, line posts, and gates you need. This varies on the number of gates, the distance between each post, and the fence height. Post distances vary between 6, 8, and 10 feet.

Some additional fence cost factors in Fairfax, VA:

  • Add $2-$5 per linear foot to remove an existing fence
  • Fence posts cost $10-$30, depending on material
  • Divide the total linear feet by ten to calculate the total number of posts needed
  • Post caps and brackets average $2.50 each.
  • A gate can cost as little as $250, with a double-wide, vehicle-accessible gate fetching $2,500 or more.
  • A fence contractor estimate is quoted in price per linear foot without separate line items for materials and labor
  • Estimates from licensed, experienced, local fence companies will include all parts and labor in their fence cost estimate
  • Factor in an additional percentage of your fence cost if you have a hilly or obstructed landscape
  • Clearly mark property boundaries and setback lines
  • Know your local zoning requirements
  • Determine where to place your fence line
  • Make sure your fence meets all legal and HOA restrictions and regulations
  • Average fence costs in Fairfax run from $8/linear foot for chain link up to $35 for vinyl fencing, with wood prices landing in between.

Before you contact a fence company do your internet research. Search “fence cost Fairfax, VA” to find customers who have used the same fence installation company, or received superior service from a competitor. There are many digital sources to help in your search to find the best possible fence cost in Fairfax, VA.

Common Questions About Fence Installation in Manassas VA

When you consider installing a new fence, there are basic questions that need thoughtful answers. Here are some common fence installation questions people ask in Manassas and throughout Northern Virginia.

What Permits or Legal Authorizations Do I Need For My Fence?

Northern Virginia zoning regulates all construction, including fence installation. There may be height, location, and design restrictions. Your jurisdiction probably requires a building permit prior to fence installation. If you have a homeowner’s association check those community covenants, which can include legally binding restrictions. Virginia law also requires you phone Miss Utility at 811 to schedule a property survey to identify buried utility lines before digging fence post holes.

Do I Have to Consult My Northern Virginia Neighbors Before My Fence Installation?

Not normally, although letting them know beforehand is considered common courtesy. However, if you plan on your Manassas, VA neighbors sharing fence costs discuss that well in advance. Your local ordinances or homeowner’s association guidelines may require you provide advanced notice to your adjoining neighbors.

What Fence Materials Are Practical?

Fences materials, including wood, composite, wrought iron, chain link and vinyl, each have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Wood fences are typically built by hand with raw lumber. Vinyl fences are pre-manufactured panels installed by sections. Metal fences made of aluminum or steel, can be purchased in chain link rolls or as prefabricated metal panels. Your specific needs and location will determine which material is right for your fence.

Do Most Fences Touch the Ground?

If you are installing your fence to keep pests out or dogs in you may need your fence to be flush with the ground. However, be aware when fences make direct contact with the ground it can increase maintenance requirements. Depending on the fence material it may be exposed to more rapid moisture damage, leading to more frequent care and repair.

How Does Weather Affect Fence Installation?

The weather in Manassas, Virginia can affect your fence installation. High humidity and precipitation has a direct impact on post hole stability and setting concrete. Air temperature outside the acceptable range causes problems with concrete, and can cause instability of your actual fence material, making installation difficult. For that reason your fence installation is best completed during a warm, dry period.

What Height Should My Fence Be?

This depends on the purpose of your fence. A fence designed to contain small pets and children can be 4 feet tall. Privacy fences may need to be above 7 feet tall, while security fences vary from 5 to 7 feet. Decorative or ornamental fences may be only 3 to 4 feet tall.

How Long Will My Northern Virginia Fence Last?

Your fence durability depends on many factors. The material you select, the original coatings, your weather, and regular preventive maintenance all play a part in dictating how long your fence will last. Treated lumber or naturally resistant wood species encourage a longer lifespan for wood fences, while man-made materials such as vinyl, composite, and metal, are more resistant. In any case, your care and maintenance efforts can make a significant difference in the life of your fence.

How Long Does Fence Installation Take in Manassas, VA?

This depends on the fence material, the terrain, the design, and length of your fence. Another big factor is whether you install your own fence or hire a fence company to do the installation. If the weather is favorable and you hire an experienced fence installation company you should have a new fence within three to five days.

Simple Care Tips for Your Screened Porch in Ashburn, VA

When properly maintained your clean screened porch will remain a durable, comfortable, and attractive outdoor retreat for the whole family.
Ventilation is essential for preventing mold growth in your screened porch. Even though a screened porch is designed for ventilation, addition air circulation is always beneficial. Keep a standing fan nearby for use during hot, humid days, and after rain. We recommend our clients install a ventilation or exhaust system to draw moisture away from your screened porch interior. While many homeowners shy away from the added expense, it may save your screened porch – and your home – from mold damage.
When you find mold, clean it as soon as possible using a product that contains vinegar and bleach; many commercially sold mold removal products contain both of these, or you can mix your own solution of one-cup bleach, one-half cup vinegar and two gallons of water. Scrub the infected area with the solution, followed by having a fan blowing directly on it to make sure it is thoroughly dry. Dry and clean are everything in any long-lasting screened porch
At least twice a year clean your screened porch from top to bottom. It is helpful to pull things out, see them in the light, and get a chance to get each item really clean. It is a simple, economical way to care for your screened porch to prolong its service life and minimize maintenance costs.


Step 1:
Move everything from the porch into your yard: chairs, tables, potted plants – everything. Drape rugs and floor mats over a fence, railing, or sturdy clothesline to air them.
Step 2:
Using an extendable cleaning tool, sweep cobwebs from high corners, overhangs, fans, lights, the ceiling, screens and shutters.
Step 3:
With a bucket of warm water and bleach or a commercial cleaning product, and a large, soft sponge, carefully wash each piece furniture and all decorative porch objects.
Step 4:
Re-wet the sponge and wipe off all solid surfaces (doors, railings, shutters, sills, frames, metalwork, lights).
Step 5:
If you have a solid floor grab a push broom to sweep leaves, dirt, and twigs off the floor. If there is indoor-outdoor carpeting plug in your vacuum and use the specialty tools to reach corners and crevices.
Step 6:
Use a long-handled scrub brush or a mop, and bucket, to clean the floor.
Step 7:
Once the floor is completely dry, place your furniture, rugs, and plants in a different arrangement. Then get yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and a good book, and relax on your sparkling screened porch.

Create Dry Space for Double the Outdoor Pleasure With Composite Decks in Springfield, VA

Composite decks in Springfield, VA are all the rage. The extreme popularity is easy to understand. With low maintenance – no sanding, staining or sealing, and extended lifespans, what is not to like? Contemporary composite decks are fade-resistant and stand up to mold, decay, rot, and warping. They never splinter or split and are of no use to common insect pests. Manufactured in a variety of colors, finishes, and styles, and now available with hidden fastener systems, composite decks in Springfield are simple to build and easy to enjoy.


Exterior composite products are manufactured of virgin or recycled plastic and wood, ground to a fiber and fused by resins in high-pressure molds. The resulting composite is a weather-resistant, durable, lightweight construction material just perfect for use in outdoor construction. Over time the strength and consistency of these composite products has improved tremendously, and it’s versatility is transforming the design and construction of decks throughout Northern Virginia.
According to certified master inspector C. Dwight Barnett in Evansville, IN, plan to use pressure-treated lumber (PTL) for your deck in foundational areas that require strength and durability. All decks, whether the surface is made of wood or a plastic wood composite, need the safety and support of PTL. But composite surfaces, railings, trim, and accessories remain the top choice for decks in Springfield and throughout Northern Virginia.


Planning your composite deck design details, materials, patterns, and accessories before you build a deck is a simple, cost-effective way to create purposeful, dedicated outdoor spaces. As you explore composite deck materials consider a combination of outdoor spaces and structures to create your unique outdoor living environment. Build a deck with a patio, or a deck with a screened porch. Use outdoor structures such as pergolas, gazebos, and arbors to introduce visual diversity, provide shade, and encourage transparent transitional areas between the indoors and outdoors.
An especially helpful and extremely cost-effective method to increase your usable outdoor space is investing in an under deck drainage system. These systems gather and direct water from between your planks. Simply put, it turns the lower level under your deck into a patio for additional leisure and storage space. Creating usable dry space under your deck not only expands your livable outdoor space, it also provides the ultimate weather protection for the support structure of your composite deck.
There are many reasons to double your outdoor space with a dry deck drainage system for composite decks in Springfield, VA. Give Armor Fence a call if you need professional assistance in planning or designing your new composite deck in Springfield.

Why Include Under Deck Drainage Systems when Building Wood Decks in Northern Virginia?

When you begin to plan your wood deck, think of how to maximize each possible outdoor living space. Including functional design elements when planning wood decks in Northern Virginia can create multiple distinct spaces. On the deck surface smart accessories, strategic lighting, attractive finishes and guardrails set the main level apart. Cascading to the ground multiple tiers of wood decking invite you to enjoy cooking, dining, and relaxing in the great outdoors. Down below, beneath the open air, sits a separate, covered living space. If designed with intent, it can be your bonus space – a private screened porch, a casual patio or a covered porch that transitions into a landscaped Eden.
Install dry deck drainage and the result is a sheltered virgin space underneath wood decks in Northern Virginia. A proper ceiling material reflects and intensifies natural light – enhancing the space below, keeping it dry, and helping to safely redirect water runoff from the upper surfaces of your home and away from the foundation.
A complete dry deck drainage system can typically be installed and completed in a few days under any deck. Both existing and new construction wood decks in Northern Virginia are eligible candidates for an under deck drainage system. They provide a wide range of features and benefits that offer tremendous value for your Northern Virginia home, including:

  • Extends the existing property drainage system
  • Protects the extended healthy life of wood decks
  • Adds a cooler, shaded oasis in warm weather
  • Increases flexible living space
  • Provides a supplemental entertainment area

Consisting of a waterproof membrane installed just under the decking above the frame, the deck drainage system employs a channel system that directs water to the perimeter gutters and away from your home. Various reputable companies manufacture under deck drainage systems for installation during deck construction or as a retrofit. Check the manufacturer’s requirements when choosing materials for wood decks in Northern Virginia to verify the under deck-drainage system you choose works with their products.
No matter how you look at it, an under deck drainage system in Northern Virginia is a good investment. Home resale values show curb appeal and outdoor living rank high on a buyer’s list of desired features. Building wood decks in Northern Virginia with under deck-drainage systems doubles your outdoor living enjoyment at a fraction of the cost of other improvements.
Why include under deck drainage systems when building wood decks in Northern Virginia? It adds living space – both on your wood deck in Northern Virginia, and in the bonus space below – that you can comfortably enjoy with family and friends every day at home.